Saturday, March 31, 2012

Marines look to extend unmanned helo program in Afghanistan - Afghanistan - Stripes

Marines look to extend unmanned helo program in Afghanistan - Afghanistan - Stripes

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A trial of unmanned cargo helicopters in Afghanistan has been so successful the Marine Corps wants to extend the mission.
Since December, two Kaman K-MAX unmanned cargo helicopters have flown 250 missions, moving 750,000 pounds of food, fuel, equipment and spare parts to forward operating bases in southern Afghanistan, according to Marine Maj. Kyle O’Connor, 38, the officer overseeing the downrange drone trial. The helicopters have delivered some 400,000 pounds of goods this month alone. Image_26138965.jpg
“Initially it was a six-month deployment, but they are working to try to extend that in theater because of the success rate we have had so far,” O’Connor said.
The unmanned K-MAX, built by Kaman and Lockheed Martin, can carry up to 6,000 pounds of cargo at sea level, according to Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin aviation systems vice president. Using a carousel system, the K-MAX can fly to four locations, drop supplies at each within a 10-meter (33 feet) circle and return to base using GPS coordinates, Spoor said before the aircraft deployed to Afghanistan....

-bth: this system is a very good idea and should be encouraged

Brzezinski Says Romney Lacks ‘Grasp’ of Foreign Policy - Bloomberg

Brzezinski Says Romney Lacks ‘Grasp’ of Foreign Policy - Bloomberg

....In Brzezinski’s view, the best candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a second term for Obama would be Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and former presidential nominee. Chuck Hagel, a former Senate Republican from Nebraska, also would be “awfully good,” he said.

Romney has faced criticism from Republican rivals as well as Democrats for comments such as his description this week of Russia as “without question, our number-one geopolitical foe.”

Campaign Advisers

His campaign advisers have included Robert Joseph, a former White House and State Department official under Bush who helped coordinate a white paper on what the Bush administration said was Saddam Hussein’s “quest for nuclear weapons.” No evidence of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program was found after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003.
Romney’s comments on Iran, Brzezinski said, “are just so casual, and at the same time so militant, that one has to wonder whether he’ll feel bound by what he said in the course of the campaign.”

...  Obama hasn’t been able “to set a firm course of action and to, in effect, combine his tendency to sermonize with his capacity to strategize,” Brzezinski, who now serves as a counselor and trustee for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington policy research organization, said in the interview.

Daily Times - PCNS agrees to link NATO supply to end of drone strikes

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - PCNS agrees to link NATO supply to end of drone strikes

 ISLAMABAD: Reconsidering its earlier approved recommendations on foreign policy and new terms of engagement with the US, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) on Friday agreed to link restoration of NATO supply to end of drone attacks in Pakistan. The committee also dropped recommendations regarding foreign intelligence operations in the country, including proposals on foreign use of Pakistani airbases. Senator Raza Rabbani chaired the meeting that was held to discuss over 35 recommendations on foreign policy and re-engagement with the United States. daily times monitor

Businesses May Flee Afghanistan After Troop Withdrawal -

Businesses May Flee Afghanistan After Troop Withdrawal -

In this environment, troubling indicators are not hard to find. More than 30,400 Afghans applied for asylum in industrialized nations in 2011, the highest level in 10 years and four times the number seeking asylum in 2005, according to provisional figures from the United Nations. Meanwhile, the number of displaced Afghans outside the country seeking to come the other way slowed to 68,000 last year, down from 110,000 in 2010 and a big decrease from the 1.8 million Afghans who repatriated in 2002, the year after the Taliban were driven out of power.
The only Western bank operating here said on Wednesday that it would be leaving. Piles of cash equaling about a quarter of Afghanistan’s annual economic output were physically carried out of Afghanistan last year. Fewer foreign companies are seeking to do business here, and those already here are downsizing and putting off new investments....

 Even those who are trying to stay, foreign companies in particular, have become very conservative. According to the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency, capital spending by foreign companies newly registered in the past year, at $55 million, was the lowest rate in at least seven years, and about one-eighth the rate’s peak in 2006....

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spectacle: The insurgents dressed as women show the Taliban's determination to infiltrate coalition forces

Spectacle: The insurgents dressed as women show the Taliban's determination to infiltrate coalition forces
U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan have assigned 'guardian angels' - troops who watch over their comrades even as they sleep - as part of a series of increased security measures to protect troops against possible rogue attacks.
The added protections are part of a directive issued in recent weeks by Marine General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, to guard against insider threats.
And they come in the wake of a spike in attacks on U.S. and coalition forces by Afghans, including the point-blank shooting deaths of two U.S. advisers in Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior.
Taliban militants, who were arrested by Afghan intelligence forces, are presented to the media at the Afghan intelligence department in Mehterlam, Laghman province, east of Kabul
Disguise: Captured Taliban militants are presented to the media in Mehterlam, east of Kabul, yesterday. Concerned by the increased threat to U.S. forces, military commanders have assigned 'guardian angels' - troops that watch over their comrades even as they sleep - as part of a series of increased security measures

Spectacle: The insurgents dressed as women show the Taliban's determination to infiltrate coalition forces
Spectacle: The insurgents dressed as women show the Taliban's determination to infiltrate coalition forces
The lengths the Taliban are prepared to go to in order to gain access to coalition forces was illustrated yesterday when local police arrested seven men dressed in women's clothing in Mehterlam, Laghman province, east of Kabul....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hubris is major threat to U.S., experts say - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

Hubris is major threat to U.S., experts say - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

This prompted a fairly common discussion of cyber threats, jihadists and the ability of terrorists to rapidly evolve tactics so they seem a step or two ahead of counter-terrorist forces.
Jones, however, then added that one of the biggest threats is a continued feeling that the U.S., because of its military might, is invulnerable to serious harm, which he said is a return to a pre-9/11 feeling.
“Hubris is thinking everybody likes us,” he said, when in reality, the U.S. image overseas “is deeply troubling.”
For Maxwell, the biggest challenge for the nation’s leaders is trying to think far ahead about threats and challenges: “We are focused on threats now and [our enemies] are focused on the future.”
The three experts said it was difficult to predict what form future threats might take or the tactics that U.S. foes might employ, which is why they recommended flexible planning, dual-use equipment and nimble forces that can adapt on the fly.
Jones spoke of the need for better interagency cooperation, especially between the Defense Department, State Department and Agency for International Development. Killebrew said the Treasury Department needed to improve its ability to freeze illegal monetary assets that fuel many insurgencies as they blend with crime syndicates. “Treasury has to be better on cutting off funding streams,” he said.
Maxwell said the military needs stronger cyber defenses in addition to an improved ability to carry out cyber attacks of its own.

New security for U.S. troops in Afghanistan –

New security for U.S. troops in Afghanistan –

...  so far this year, 16 NATO service members have been shot and killed by Afghan soldiers and policemen or militants disguised in their uniforms, according to an Associated Press tally. That equals 18 percent of the 84 foreign troops killed this year in Afghanistan. Of the approximately 80 NATO service members killed since 2007 by Afghan security forces, more than 75 percent were in the past two years.

In two separate incidents on Monday, Afghan security forces shot and killed one American and two British troops.

In one incident, two British service members were killed by an Afghan soldier in front of the main gate of a joint civilian-military base in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said. And in the second incident, a U.S. service member was shot and killed at a checkpoint in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan by a man who was believed to be a member of a village-level fighting force the U.S. is fostering in hopes of countering the Taliban insurgency.

According to the military official, the so-called guardian angels provide an extra layer of security, watching over the troops as they sleep, when they are exercising, and going about their day.

Allen noted that the Afghans have also taken some similar steps to provide guards for their own forces....

India’s army unfit to fight a war, army chief says - The Washington Post

India’s army unfit to fight a war, army chief says - The Washington Post

NEW DELHI — India’s tanks do not have enough shells to fire, its air defenses are obsolete and its ill-equipped infantry can’t fight at night, the country’s army chief told the prime minister in a letter this month, an Indian newpaper reported Wednesday.

Excerpts from the letter from army chief V.K. Singh to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were published in the Mumbai-based newspaper Daily News & Analysis. The revelations prompted condemnation of both the government and the army among lawmakers, who demanded the army chief’s immediate dismissal over the letter’s publication and other incidents and accused the government of neglecting national security....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dixie Chicks - Travelin' Soldier - YouTube

Dixie Chicks - Travelin' Soldier - YouTube

We Can't Drone Our Way to Victory in Afghanistan - By Micah Zenko | Foreign Policy

We Can't Drone Our Way to Victory in Afghanistan - By Micah Zenko | Foreign Policy

... But night raids enrage Afghans, and Karzai faces political pressure to significantly reduce their occurrence and frequency. At some point, as U.S. troops continue their withdrawal from Afghanistan, Karzai will broaden his demands beyond the limitation of night raids and insist on further constraints on the ROE for any residual U.S. military or CIA assets in Afghanistan.

On March 20, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, told the House Armed Services Committee, "The Afghan government is on a path toward sovereignty, and we should encourage that sovereignty." Part of that journey toward sovereignty is to take into account the constituencies that government will need to court if it is to survive. U.S. officials and the Karzai administration continue to tout their efforts to integrate the Taliban-whose principal demand is the withdrawal of all foreign military forces from Afghanistan-into the government. It is a fool's errand to pursue that goal and then expect that regime to endorse the stationing of Navy SEALs and CIA officers in the Pashtun heartland.

That's a reality some American policymakers have had difficulty grasping. On March 22, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked General Allen: "Do you agree with me that you will never allow that [night raids] program to be terminated?" General Allen responded: "I will. Yes, sir."

It's not only Afghanistan where the U.S. military has increasingly become an unwelcome guest. Last week, Pakistan's Parliamentary Committee on National Security completed its guidelines on revised terms of engagement between the United States and Pakistan. It calls for the United States to cease drone attacks within Pakistan and forsake any "boots on the ground" in the country. While the Pakistani military has the final say over U.S. military and intelligence capabilities on Pakistani soil, the overwhelmingly negative public opinion toward U.S. military intervention could compel it to seek a further reduction in the scope and intensity of U.S. drone strikes. Indeed, U.S. officials reportedly offered to curtail "signature" drone strikes against Taliban suspects in Pakistan this year, but "the offers were rejected flatly" by Pakistan's ISI chief, according to the Associated Press. Islamabad will also eagerly press Karzai to reject any requests to allow Afghanistan to play host to a significant U.S. military presence.

For all these reasons, U.S. combat capabilities will inevitably wane in Afghanistan beyond 2014. It's time for U.S. officials to stop trying to swim against the tide of the public opinion of sovereign governments in Southwest Asia, and start developing a strategy for combating terrorism that does not overwhelmingly rely on unending Special Forces night raids and CIA drone strikes.

-bth: An article most definitely worth reading in full.  In short, if we are to have a permanent opportunity to contain terrorism and strike home when needed, then we need regional if not local bases.  Those bases for special ops forces and for drones requires a cooperative local government.  That government will also want limitations on US operations via rules of engagement.  We need to get that through our heads, otherwise we will lose the opportunity for such bases just as we have in Iraq.

Netanyahu and Barak Forge a Bond on Israel’s Iran Crisis -

Netanyahu and Barak Forge a Bond on Israel’s Iran Crisis -

...  Both Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak say they will be delighted if pressure on Iran leads it to drop its nuclear program. Neither thinks it likely, however, because of the short time frame as Iran moves its centrifuges underground, beyond Israel’s military ability to destroy them.

Public opinion on the matter is unclear, although Mr. Netanyahu remains very popular and Mr. Barak is widely respected as defense minister. In polls about Iran, different questions produce different results. One poll asked Israelis if they favored an attack without American help and a sizable majority, 63 percent, said no. But another asked whether Israelis considered an attack on Iran riskier than “living in the shadow of an Iranian nuclear bomb” and 65 percent preferred the attack, in keeping with the Netanyahu-Barak argument. Some say it is the unusual combination of Mr. Netanyahu with Mr. Barak that could lead to an attack, and while some are grateful, others are terrified. Meir Dagan, a former head of the Mossad spy agency, has complained that the two leaders cannot be trusted to make the right decision.

Ben Caspit, a political columnist for the Maariv newspaper, a former Likud activist and a harsh critic of Mr. Netanyahu’s, wrote in the paper last weekend that he viewed them as dangerous.

Using Mr. Netanyahu’s nickname, he said: “Bibi is a messianist. He believes with all his soul and every last molecule of his being that he — I don’t quite know how to express it — is King David. He’s not cynical in the least. The cynic here is Barak. The fortunate thing is that Bibi’s a coward. The dangerous thing is that he’s got Barak beside him.” 

-bth: worth reading in full. So the question I have is whether the US is going to be drawn into this fight? My presumption is that if we are not goaded into being an initiating party in it, we are going to be a recipient of the Iranian retaliatory gesture.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

World News - Bomb plot foiled: Cache of suicide vests found in Afghan defense ministry

World News - Bomb plot foiled: Cache of suicide vests found in Afghan defense ministry

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A number of Afghan national army soldiers have been arrested inside the country’s defense ministry over a foiled suicide bomb plot, officials told NBC News.

The soldiers were held on Monday afternoon along with 11 suicide bomb vests in a guard box in the building in the capital, Kabul, army officials said on Tuesday.

Afghan news web site Khaama also reported the arrests, saying the incident raises fresh concerns over infiltration of militants among the country’s Afghan security forces.

There were no further details immediately available.

Tim Marshall, foreign editor of UK channel Sky News, said that the incident was serious, and showed that the Taliban are determined to chase NATO out of the country.

"The fact that these arrests took place within the walls of the defense ministry illustrates the level of insurgent penetration within the Afghanistan establishment and just tells you -- gives a signal of -- what is likely to happen when NATO leaves," he said....

-bth: I no longer understand our method or mission in Afghanistan.

Afghan security forces kill 3 ISAF troops in south, east - The Long War Journal

Afghan security forces kill 3 ISAF troops in south, east - The Long War Journal

.... Afghan security personnel are now estimated to have killed 81 ISAF soldiers since May 2007. Sixteen of the ISAF soldiers, or almost 20 percent, were killed this year, according to press releases issued by ISAF [see below].

ISAF has not disclosed the number of incidents in which ISAF soldiers were wounded by ANSF personnel, or the attacks on ISAF personnel that did not result in casualties. ISAF told The Long War Journal that "these statistics ... [are ] ... classified."

"[A]ttacks by ANSF on Coalition Forces...either resulting in non-injury, injury or death....these stats as a whole (the total # attacks) are what is classified and not releasable," Lieutentant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, ISAF's Press Desk Chief, told The Long War Journal. Cummings said that ISAF is "looking to declassify this number."

Inquiries as to why the overall statistic is classified went unanswered.

The rise in attacks against ISAF troops by Afghan personnel takes place as ISAF is seeking to accelerate the transition of security responsibility to Afghan forces. The plan calls for an increase in the number of ISAF trainers as well as increased partnering of ISAF and Afghan units, and will heighten Coalition troops' exposure to green on blue attacks....

-bth: classifying this information needlessly is further cause for a loss of credibility in reporting from ISAF.

Mexico Murders Go Largely Unpunished, Report Says

Mexico Murders Go Largely Unpunished, Report Says

MEXICO CITY — Four out of five homicides go unpunished in Mexico, in part because prosecutors and police focus on less serious cases that are easier to solve, a Mexican think tank's report said Monday.
That leads to extreme situations like the northern border state of Chihuahua, where researchers found 96.4 percent of killings go unpunished, based on comparisons of the annual rates for murders and convictions in 2010. That compares to what the study calls an unenviably high nationwide average of around 80 percent....

-bth: since murder there is a rising trend, comparing current murders with recent convictions would understate police activity on the matter.  But still...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Support In U.S. For Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds

Support In U.S. For Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds

... Sixty-nine percent think the U.S. should not be involved in the war in Afghanistan, up from 53 percent as measured by CBS in November. A Washington Post poll conducted before the killings, but after after burned Qurans were found at Bagram Air Base and after American soldiers were caught urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters, found that 60 percent said the war not worth fighting.

The poll also shows that Americans think the war is not going well for the U.S. -- 68 percent think it's going badly, with 35 percent saying "very badly." In addition, 59 percent think the war was not a success, versus 27 percent who think it has been.

A plurality of 44 percent think that troops should be withdrawn sooner than 2014, when the U.S. is scheduled to withdraw all of its troops and hand over control to Afghan forces. One-third of respondents agree with the 2014 timeline, while 17 percent want to stay.

More Americans lacked a clear idea of why the U.S. was still in Afghanistan. When asked why the U.S. was still there following the death of Osama Bin Laden, 55 percent did not know, up from 43 percent last fall.

Even among the 29 percent who did know, the responses were varied as to why the U.S. was there. "Fighting terrorism" was the generic answer given by 15 percent overall. Seven percent said to stabilize the country and 5 percent said to prevent the Taliban from taking control.

Just 1 percent said 9/11 -- the reason the U.S. invaded the country in the first place more than 10 years ago.

- bth: once again the American people are years ahead of the block heads at the Pentagon and the Administration has become tone deaf.  After OBL was killed, we should have declared plans to leave and quickly.

Last U.S. Combat Vehicle From Iraq Is Headed To Museum Here

Last U.S. Combat Vehicle From Iraq Is Headed To Museum Here

 The last Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle out of Iraq was on its way back to the U.S. Saturday, en route to a museum here.

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SEA PORT OF DEBARKATION/EMBARKATION, Kuwait (March 24, 2012)—A heavily armored Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, the last one out of Iraq, left Kuwait Saturday aboard the Ocean Crescent en route back to the U.S. and eventually to Fort Hood where it will be displayed at the 1st Cavalry Museum.

The MRAPs were a relatively late addition to the U.S. arsenal in Iraq.
Designed to protect troops from the roadside bombs insurgents so often used, they replaced the ubiquitous Humvee.

A longer version was designed to hold a crew of 10.

The vehicles were heavily armored and had an angled bottom shell to deflect explosions.
The last U.S. troops crossed into Kuwait in December, in the final act of the Iraq war which cost nearly 4,500 American and more than 100,000 Iraqi lives.

The last convoy of MRAPs, heavily armored personnel carriers, made a largely uneventful journey out except for a few equipment malfunctions along the way.

The final soldier to die in the war was David Emanuel Hickman, 23, of Greensboro, N.C.

He was killed on Nov. 14 in Baghdad, when a homemade bomb exploded while his unit was on patrol.

-bth: End of an era or see you next time?

Rethinking Carbon Dioxide: From a Pollutant to an Asset by Marc Gunther: Yale Environment 360

Rethinking Carbon Dioxide: From a Pollutant to an Asset by Marc Gunther: Yale Environment 360

...  What this means for the environment is that carbon pollution need not be cleaned up at its source. CO2 spewing from a tailpipe in Sao Paulo or a coal plant in China can be captured by machines in Iceland or the Middle East because the atmosphere functions as a conveyor belt, moving CO2 to any sink. Air capture may prove to be the only way to absorb dispersed emissions from cars, trucks, trains, ships or planes....

Taliban warn Pakistan lawmakers over NATO supplies - Yahoo! News

Taliban warn Pakistan lawmakers over NATO supplies - Yahoo! News

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — The Taliban on Sunday threatened to attack Pakistani lawmakers and their families if they support allowing NATO to resume shipping supplies through the country to troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan closed its Afghan border crossings to NATO in November in retaliation for American airstrikes that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan's parliament is scheduled to begin debate Monday on a revised relationship with the U.S. that could lead to the border being reopened.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan accused Pakistani officials of acting like slaves for the U.S. and said allowing NATO supplies to resume would be "shameful and unacceptable."

"These parliamentarians must know that in such case, none of them will be safe in their homes," Ahsan told The Associated Press. "We will start attacking all the parliamentarians and their families."

Ahsan also said militants would "publicly slaughter" drivers ferrying NATO supplies.
The U.S. is eager to get the supplies moving again because it has had to spend much more money shipping goods by an alternative route that runs through Central Asia.

The supply line through Pakistan will also be key to trucking out equipment as the U.S. seeks to withdraw most of its combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014....

Robert Bales Charged: Military Scrambles To Limit Malaria Drug Just After Afghanistan Massacre

Robert Bales Charged: Military Scrambles To Limit Malaria Drug Just After Afghanistan Massacre

WASHINGTON -- Nine days after a U.S. soldier allegedly massacred 17 civilians in Afghanistan, a top-level Pentagon health official ordered a widespread, emergency review of the military’s use of a notorius anti-malaria drug called mefloquine.

Mefloquine, also called Lariam, has severe psychiatric side effects. Problems include psychotic behavior, paranoia and hallucinations. The drug has been implicated in numerous suicides and homicides, including deaths in the U.S. military. For years the military has used the weekly pill to help prevent malaria among deployed troops.

The U.S. Army nearly dropped use of mefloquine entirely in 2009 because of the dangers, now only using it in limited circumstances, including sometimes in Afghanistan. The 2009 order from the Army said soldiers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury should not be given the drug.

The soldier accused of grisly Afghanistan murders on March 17 of men, women and children, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq in 2010 during his third combat tour. According to New York Times reporting, repeated combat tours also increase the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Bales' wife, Karilyn Bales, broke her silence in an interview Sunday with NBC's Matt Lauer, airing on Monday's Today show. "It is unbelievable to me. I have no idea what happened, but he would not -- he loves children. He would not do that," she said in excerpts released Sunday....

-bth: another person influenced by this drug.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Europe bishops slam Saudi fatwa against Gulf churches | Reuters

Europe bishops slam Saudi fatwa against Gulf churches | Reuters

(Reuters) - Christian bishops in Germany, Austria and Russia have sharply criticized Saudi Arabia's top religious official after reports that he issued a fatwa saying all churches on the Arabian Peninsula should be destroyed.

In separate statements on Friday, the Roman Catholic bishops in Germany and Austria slammed the ruling by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh as an unacceptable denial of human rights to millions of foreign workers in the Gulf region.

Archbishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, head of the Russian Orthodox department for churches abroad, called the fatwa "alarming" in a statement on Tuesday. Such blunt criticism from mainstream Christian leaders of their Muslim counterparts is very rare.

Christian websites have reported Sheikh Abdulaziz, one of the most influential religious leaders in the Muslim world, issued the fatwa last week in response to a Kuwaiti lawmaker who asked if Kuwait could ban church construction in Kuwait....

Afghan gun massacre families paid compensation | World | News | Toronto Sun

Afghan gun massacre families paid compensation | World | News | Toronto Sun

U.S. authorities have given cash compensation to the families of Afghans killed in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by an American soldier in Kandahar province, a family member and a tribal elder said on Sunday.

The families received around $50,000 for each person killed and about $10,000 for each wounded in the shootings in two villages in Panjwai district earlier this month. Afghan officials say 16 people, including nine children and women, were killed in the attacks.

“We were invited by the foreign and Afghan officials in Panjwai yesterday and they said this money is an assistance from Obama,” Haji Jan Agha, who said he lost his cousins, told Reuters, referring to U.S. President Barack Obama.

The U.S. embassy directed all questions to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) which is fighting the war in Afghanistan.

An ISAF spokesman said he was in not in a position to either confirm or deny whether compensation was given, and if so how much....